Sweden was treating us to yet another day of perfect weather. We were heading down the west coast from Gothenburg and thoroughly enjoying the roads and the lovely smell of the Kattegat Sea blowing through the open windows.
Life was good, but unfortunately our location also meant that our Swedish adventure was soon to come to an end. We considered just turning around and heading in a new direction and starting all over again. This all seemed way too awesome for us to allow it to end! But we had made arrangements with Lennart Bengtsson from 02-Depan in Kagerod, so we pushed on southbound.
Arriving at Lennarts workshop we were first greeted by his very well known Colorado orange 2002 racer with his signature blue striping to ensure that it stands out amongst all those Alpina replicas. Lennart invited us inside his workshop, which is a true Aladins Cave, full of 02 goodies – especially if you’re into historic motorsports. There were bare shells ready to start their second life as full-blown race cars, well-patinated racers needing a bit of love before they could continue doing what they do best and state-of-the-art FIA approved race 02’s currently being campaigned in both Sweden and Germany. Add to that, piles of new glass-fiber bodywork, trick engine parts and more of those ultra-rare 13” BBS E30 split-rim motorsport alloys than I have ever seen in one place before! However it wasn’t only racing. Currently in the workshop, one of the 1672 legendary BMW 2002 Turbos was receiving a full restoration to original street specification. It was quite a sight and the next couple of hours flew by just wandering randomly between the cars whilst chatting away with Lennart. I was also trying to gather as much knowledge and information as possible, for my forthcoming resurrection of my Agave Green track-02.
We eventually said our good-bye’s to Lennart and decided that with Ring Knutstorp literally just around the corner, it would be criminal not to drop by for a quick picture. From Knutstorp, using only our 1970 BP road map, we made a real effort to find the smallest roads possible for the short sprint down to Malmo. On these twisty back roads is where the little ’66 really excel’s! For a 47 year old 1.6-litre car, she actually feels very accomplished. If needed, she will quite happily cruise at 110 – 120 km/h on a smooth motorway all day long. But carving through the sweeping bends on small back roads, her subtle and well-balanced suspension smoothing out the many bumps and ridges on these old roads, whilst that sweet little 1600 engine unfazed works its way up through its rev range, the gears slotting into place easily yet surprisingly precisely, it is clearly the kind of driving she was built for. This is her forte!
It’s also amazing just how much she has freed up during this trip. Since her first owner passed away back in 2001, she’s seen very limited use with a couple of enthusiast collectors. She performed absolutely fine when we departed Piteaa, but especially the engine has been transformed during these last 5 days. She pulls cleaner, is much more rev-happy and even seems to have gotten a bit more ooomph at low revs, though torque is never going to be the 1.6-litre M10 engines strongest card. As with any old car, there’s of course also a small list of to-do’s present here. The exhaust is the obvious one, and there’s also still a small oil leak from the gearbox, so I’ll eventually treat it to new seals all the way round. A small crack in the passenger side of the windscreen means that a new one is also in the cards along with new window rubber, and then there are a few very minor cosmetic improvements which would please me. A huge thank-you goes out to Mats for having prepared her so well for this trip! She has truly been an absolute joy…
Paul and I found our way to my dear old friend, Goran Stojkovic, in Malmo, whom I hadn’t seen for 5 years now! Time does fly, but it’s amazing how real friendships never fade. Goran is just as hardcore car enthusiast as the rest of us, and within no time at all where we back into our old roles, as if it was only last week we had spent time together. Until the early hours of the morning we all three chatted away about cars previously owned, our most memorable drives and dreams still to be lived. But I had personally ticked a big one for me over these last few days. Today the ’66 had covered another 320km bringing the total up to 1930km. Not far to go from here.